Sephora Innovates Again with Small-Format Retail Store

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Sephora Innovates Again with Small-Format Retail Store

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 07/26/2017

Sephora, which just debuted its new digitally infused store format, has decided to take thing small. The beauty retailer has opened SEPHORA Studio, a new concept store with an emphasis on artistry and skincare services contained within 2,000 square feet of selling space.

On the heels of its largest North American store opening on Manhattan’s 34th Street, Sephora Studio is the retailer’s smallest footprint in the U.S. and first concept store of its kind. The Studio presents clients with an optimized store design and intimate format aimed at fostering personalized connections between shoppers and the store’s beauty advisors. The Studio opened in July on Boston’s famous high-end shopping destination, Newbury Street.

“In today’s retail environment where very little is constant and clients’ expectations are ever-evolving, one thing has remained true for Sephora: there is no better way to create meaningful connections with clients than through personalized experiences and a customized approach to beauty," said Calvin McDonald, President and CEO of Sephora Americas. "We could not be more focused on that notion than we are with the opening of Sephora Studio. The Studio merges the best of an inclusive neighborhood retail environment with best-in-class digital tools that enable our expert beauty advisors to customize recommendations on an individual basis.”

Unified Digital and Physical Experiences


The Sephora Studio integrates a variety of digital tools to optimize client experiences before, during and after their store visit. Among them are digital welcome and service menu screens for easy navigation and self-help, and beauty advisors with mobilized devices that can quickly service clients with appointment check in, looking up their Beauty Insider status, and retrieving Sephora.com ratings and reviews on any product throughout the store.

Sephora Studio is the first store to use an iPhone 7 Plus for employees, a spokesperson told RIS News. The device will include mobile point of sale, which will handle all transactions and several apps (for more on this see the upcoming August issue).  

The new store also features two omnichannel product delivery options: Order In Store and Same Day Pick Up. With Order In Store, Sephora Beauty Advisors can place the client order through Sephora.com with complimentary standard shipping or reduced next day shipping. Sephora Studio has also partnered with Sephora Prudential Center as one of the first stores to offer Same Day Pick Up. Starting in October, Boston area clients can purchase on their device via the Sephora app and pick it up at Sephora Prudential Center the same day.

All of the retailers digital-enhanced beauty services will also be available, including the new SEPHORA Digital Makeover Guide, which optimizes the client’s personal beauty service experience by capturing her product, application and look preferences from her makeover. A record of her makeover experience is then delivered to her via email for easy reference in the future.

Additionally, the Studio will be the first store to offer a new Beauty Studio Service, Custom Makeover Plus, a 75-minute Custom Makeover with the client’s choice of Skincare Consultation or Mini Facial. Digital tools available to beauty advisors include the Sephora + Pantone Color IQ touchscreens for scientifically precise foundation, lip and concealer shade matching.

Sephora Studio will also feature the first Studio Concierge, a specially appointed store consultant dedicated to guide, service and connect clients with experts and digital features in store, aide with services, check-in, and assist with a range of client inquiries and needs. Shoppers can also book services in advance using Sephora's client reservation system available through Sephora.com/classes, Sephora mobile web, the Sephora app, and Sephora Reservation Assistant on Facebook Messenger.